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NC Sheriff’s Office Rules Death of Pastor’s Wife a Suicide

Family and friends urged police to ‘deeply’ investigate Mica Miller’s death, started hashtag #justiceformica

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On Tuesday (May 7), Robeson County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office released a statement ruling the death of pastor’s wife Mica Miller a suicide. The ruling came a day after the Robeson County Medical Examiner determined that Miller, 30, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mica Miller / Facebook

“A death investigation that has tugged on the hearts of people across the nation has been ruled a suicide,”  the statement reads. “The decision was based on surveillance footage, interviews, physical evidence, and the examination of the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Miller, wife of John-Paul Miller, was found dead on April 27 in the woods of Lumber River State Park in North Carolina, about an hour north of the couple’s home in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

According to the statement, a female called 911 Saturday at 2:54 p.m. saying “she was going to kill herself and wanted her family to be able to find her body.” The deputies contacted the state park rangers and together they conducted a search and found a car registered to Mica Miller.

A gun case sat in the passenger seat, along with a pawn shop receipt for the gun dated that same day. After continuing their search, law enforcement found a body in the water that was later identified as Mica Miller.

John-Paul Miller, lead pastor of Solid Rock at Market Commons church, announced Mica Miller’s death to his congregation the morning after her death during Sunday services.

According to attenders, John-Paul Miller delivered sermons at the scheduled 9:20 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, then followed by asking attendants to stand while he shared an announcement. “I got a call late last night that my wife has passed away,” he said. “It was self induced.” He said he would take time away, and asked for prayer for his children, but he urged members to continue coming, serving and giving. He invited attendees to a memorial service for Mica Miller the next Sunday, and called up a fellow pastor to pray before exiting the church.

John-Paul Miller telling the church about his wife’s death

John Paul and Mica Miller got married in 2017. He had five children from a previous marriage.

In media interviews, John-Paul Miller has emphasized Mica Miller’s mental health issues and struggles with suicidal thoughts. He told The Christian Post she had been diagnosed with “bipolar II, schizophrenic and dependent personality disorder.” He said she would have dramatic episodes when she wasn’t consistent with her medication, and said this wasn’t her first time attempting suicide.

“But every time she tried to kill herself, I would be there,” John-Paul Miller told CP. “I would literally sometimes pick her up physically, put her in the truck, take her to the [hospital].”

But family members and friends of Mica Miller immediately pushed back on John-Paul Miller’s narrative, urging police to deeply investigate her death. They said the couple’s marriage had been on the rocks, they were no longer living together, and that Mica Miller had filed for divorce and a no contact order.

Mica Miller’s sister, Sierra Francis, filed an affidavit Monday (May 6) that said Mica “expressed abuse and violence against her by her husband.”

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“Mica stated to me on many occasions, ‘If I end up with a bullet in my head, it was not by me, it was by JP,’” Francis said.

Mica Miller had first filed for divorce in October 2023, according to The New York Post, but the case was dismissed in February. A few days later, John-Paul Miller filed for “separate support and maintenance,” seeking financial support from Mica Miller, even though they were still legally married. In April, Mica counter-filed the same against her husband, and was granted a hearing for June 5. It was two days before her death that Mica filed for the no contact order and refiled for divorce, according to Francis’ affidavit.

According to the sheriff’s statement, the investigation confirmed John-Paul Miller and a female he is “allegedly romantically involved with” were not in North Carolina at the time of Mica Miller’s death.

The Sunday of Mica Miller’s memorial service, community members of Myrtle Beach converged on the sidewalk of Solid Rock at Market Commons church to protest domestic violence and demand an investigation of Mica’s death. Inside the church, mourners memorialized Mica’s life.

On Monday (May 6), Solid Rock announced it had released John-Paul Miller from his ministerial duties “for a time of healing, counsel, and guidance, pursuant to our governing instrument.” The church did not say if it had plans to reinstate him in the future.

Christina Darnell contributed to this report.

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Christopher Mann

Christopher Mann is based on Fort Wayne, Indiana.